F-35A first overseas flight Italy

WASHINGTON: The first F-35A built in Italy for the Italian Air Force took off yesterday for what the Lockheed Martin test pilot said was highly successful first flight. “It was identical to every other airplane we produce at Fort Worth,” pilot Bill Gigliotti told reporters today in what he clearly intended as a compliment to… Keep reading →


PALMDALE, CALIF: Close Air Support enthusiasts and those who still hope for a gun-to-gun dogfight take heart: the F-35 test fired its gatling gun today. Remember that the Marines are writing the CAS portion of the F-35 CONOPS manual so they’ll be looking closely at the test results, especially since they are flying the first… Keep reading →

U-2 landing

PALMDALE, CALIF.: Lockheed Martin is exploring building a stealthy successor to the U-2 as an answer to Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk and the U-2’s impending retirement. Why a stealthy reconnaissance aircraft? Neither the U-2 nor Global Hawk can operate for long in what the military calls contested airspace. Ever since Gary Powers was shot down… Keep reading →

F-35 fires Joint Strike Missile

WASHINGTON: Do dogfights matter in the age of tactical stealth? If an F-16 can outmaneuver an F-35 in a dogfight, does it matter? Does it matter if the earliest generation F-35 can’t outmaneuver an advanced model of the F-16 in an early test? So many questions. We’ll try to answer them because the folks at… Keep reading →

An F-35B Joint Strike Fighter comes in to land on the USS Wasp. May 2015

ABOARD USS WASP: When you start getting bored during an operational test after watching the seventh or eighth F-35B float down the carrier deck and slip up into the air, you know the Marines and Navy are doing something right — or being very lucky. The six pilots have put their planes into the air close to… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept LRSB

WASHINGTON: America’s next war plane may look much more like a stealthy long-range bomber than a sleek, fast and maneuverable fighter. That’s the conclusion of a wide-ranging study by the respected Center for Budgetary and Strategic Assessments. Breaking Defense obtained a copy of the report from a source not affiliated with CSBA. Here’s the study’s main finding:… Keep reading →

An artist's concept for a stealthy future Long-Range Strike Bomber.

UPDATED: AFCoS Gen. Welsh On Stealth Industrial Base; A PIlot Comments WASHINGTON: When the Pentagon picks the winner of the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB) contest in the next few months, it faces an interesting choice. It could give Lockheed Martin — which is doing the design work for the Boeing-Lockheed team — almost all of… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: Submarines have been America’s invisible advantage since World War II. But the oceans are getting more transparent. New detection technologies from low-frequency sonar to flashing LEDs — plus the big data computing power to enhance the faint signals they pick up — are making submarines much easier to detect. The same water-penetrating wavelengths, however, will… Keep reading →

Bob Work deputy defense secretary

WASHINGTON: Offset strategy. Doesn’t exactly make your hair stand on end or make you go wow. Does it have to do with international arms deals and tradeoffs companies and countries make to win business? No. In fact, the offset strategy Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel should unveil in the next few days may be one of… Keep reading →

lockheed boeing long range strike bomber

The Air Force very quietly released a Request for Proposal (RFP) this summer for the new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B). With a purported fly away cost of $550 million per aircraft — but with estimates up to $810 million — the LRS-B will be one of the largest acquisition programs in history with broad… Keep reading →

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